Ecological and rehabilitation monitoring is undertaken annually in accordance with the Biodiversity Monitoring Plan. The ecological monitoring program involves the monitoring of post-mining rehabilitation areas, residual vegetation, revegetation areas, fauna species and their habitats, key threatened species, landscape function and aquatic features.
The monitoring process and its results will be documented in an annual report providing details of the flora and fauna species and ecological communities present at monitoring sites, identifying the impact of the Project over time, and, providing ameliorative methods and management recommendations (where necessary), to enable continual improvement of the ecological management of the Project Area.
The aims of the ecological and rehabilitation monitoring program are to:
- Provide the scientific basis for defining rehabilitation objectives and for developing closure criteria and a rehabilitation program;
- Assess the long-term stability and functioning of re-established ecosystems within post mining rehabilitation areas, as well as revegetated areas within the Biodiversity Offset and Management Areas;
- Facilitate continuous improvement in rehabilitation and revegetation practices;
- Record and document changes in retained vegetation within the Residual Project Area and Biodiversity Offset and Management Areas;
- Record and document changes in the structure, composition and condition of revegetation within the Biodiversity Offset and Management Areas, over time;
- Assess the biogeochemical functioning of the landscape in post-mining rehabilitation areas;
- Determine if the impacts on key threatened species are consistent with predictions in the Ulan Coal EA;
- Assess progressive changes to flora and fauna species assemblages within the Approved Project Disturbance Areas and Biodiversity Offset and Management Areas, as the Project progresses; and
- Ensure the ecological integrity/function of the Biodiversity Offset and Management Areas are maintained or improved as a result of ongoing management practices.
The following Threatened species have been recorded in the general area of the Ulan Mine Complex during targeted flora and fauna surveys conducted since 2004